The French Connection: Oslo x Toulouse

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Published by Oslo Business Region, 25 August 2020

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Startups, health tech and research are all key elements in the Toulouse business development landscape. A natural match for an Oslo connection, indeed.

Background

The cities of Oslo and Toulouse initiated a business friendship agreement in 2015, built on cooperation in innovation, technology and business development. The partnership was formally expanded in 2019 to widen the scope and work on city to city cooperation, described in what’s known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Toulouse is one of the fastest growing city regions in France, in terms of both economy and people. Known globally as a key hub for aeronautics and the space industry, the city is also at the front in other major tech areas such as the life sciences and health, Artificial Intelligence and robotics.

The startup focus is significant, with Toulouse being a top 3 city in France for both number of funds raised, startups founded and startup jobs created in recent years.

Objectives

The Memorandum of Understanding seeks to create favourable conditions for cooperation between the two cities and to support academia, research and business development. The Memorandum of Understanding includes all business, academia and research sectors, with an emphasis on technology driven industries, as well as city-to-city cooperation on the topics Green and Smart City and Safe and Inclusive City.

The MoU encourages:

  • Bilateral exchange - through supporting delegations to exchange experience and knowledge on the 2 main topics:
    - Green and Smart City: mobility and transport, Smart City approach, waste management, circular economy, renewable energy
    - Safe and Inclusive City: social inclusion, integration of migrants, urban safety
  • Business promotion and support - through bilateral activities to support internationalisation and branding of business and leisure, and business tourism
  • Academia and research laboratories from both cities to establish cooperation - Facilitate contacts between the University of Oslo and University of Toulouse in order to establish strategic partnerships, including possible joint submissions to European calls